Many of you may have read the recent Boston Globe article published on October 10th that highlights the discouraging Spring 2022 MCAS results. The article discusses the need to take more aggressive steps to help counter the impact of lapses of education resulting from the pandemic.
While the Boston Globe article compares Boston’s MCAS scores to statewide results, which is important and informative, we want to bring your attention to our MetroWest region that has towns with similar, and in some cases lower test scores than Boston. This reinforces the urgency of expanding programs throughout the MetroWest targeting inequities in education, so we can move quickly to close this gap.
Although education is a point of pride for many of our MetroWest communities, stark inequities exist for under-resourced students and students of color.
- 3rd Grade Reading Proficiency Rate – Students meeting or exceeding expectations in Boston (29%), and in comparison, the following MetroWest towns are below or not far above, with Framingham (26%), Milford (28%), Waltham (36%), Hudson (38%), Marlborough (39%). The State average is 44%.
- 8th Grade Math Performance Rate – Students meeting or exceeding expectations in Boston (39%), and in comparison, the following MetroWest towns are below or not far above, with Milford (14%), Marlborough (20%), Framingham (23%), Hudson (24%), Waltham (39%). The State average is 36%
One tool we are using to identify and address inequities is Impact MetroWest, our interactive data website which is accessible to everyone. It has recently been refreshed with data and analysis that is vital to inform decisions and determine priorities, so we can collectively take action to improve the quality of life for all MetroWest residents.
Based on the data and collaborative conversations, the Foundation for MetroWest has determined that addressing disparities in education is a community priority. We are focusing our efforts to move the needle on specific indicators by launching our Equity in Education Action Project in 2021. We’ve partnered with Literations to provide literacy tutoring to elementary students in Framingham, since 3rd grade reading proficiency has been identified as a critical indicator of future success. Also partnering with us on this program is Jewish Family Service of Metrowest (JFS), which is providing wrap around services to under resourced students and families.
Our Equity in Education Action Project has demonstrated success, and is now in three schools, with the intention to expand to additional MetroWest towns during the 2023-2024 school year. We also continue to work on identifying quality programs to invest in, to address 8th grade math performance in the region.
We are grateful to our corporate partners such as MathWorks, and supporters for enabling us to implement programs such as this one—but it is clear that we have to act now with immediate interventions, or too many children in our region will be left behind. We can’t do this work without your continued support and partnerships, and we need more partners and friends to join us. We are hopeful about the possibilities and all that we can achieve together.